“It is only deliberate, willful sin that has not been confessed and forgiven that makes us feel that God has forsaken us, for that sin causes Him to hide His face from us.”– Alan Redpath
As I mentioned before, in the SELAH study, I have included ACTS as a way to help you pray the scriptures. SELAH studies help you to slow down and take your time in the midst of a portion of scripture and pray through it. ACTS is an outline in which you can pray a specific portion of Scripture through adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. Get it? ACTS stands for A=Adoration, C=Confession, T=Thanksgiving, and S=Supplication.
Now let’s examine the meaning of C=Confession.[kuh n-fesh-uh n]
- acknowledgment; avowal; admission: a confession of incompetence.
- recognition or disclosure of sin or sinfulness, to obtain absolution.
- something that is confessed.
Why do we need to confess our sins? Because 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Confession is agreeing with God about your sin, but He also requires us to repent.
Repentance means after we agree with God about our sin and turn from it and quit sinning! Acts 1:30 explains repentance and its benefits for us. “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you – even Jesus.”
Thank God scripture gives us a place to pause and carefully examine our hearts so we can confess and repent our sin!
Read Psalm 119:1-8.
1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD!
2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
3 who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways!
4 You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
5 Oh that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
6 Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
7 I will praise you with an upright heart
when I learn your righteous rules.
8 I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me!
So, in light of these verses ask yourself these questions. (I told you I like lists)
- Do I walk blamelessly in the way of the Lord?
- Have I sought His testimonies with my whole heart?
- Am I steadfast in that pursuit?
- Have I kept my eyes focused intently on following all the commandments?
- Do I praise you with an upright heart or a heart burdened by shame?
You know me, Lord! Though I try to follow Your ways my efforts are far from blameless. I find that I do not, on my own, live up to Your holy commandments. While I want to follow You wholeheartedly and obey Your precepts, I always fail. My best efforts fall hopelessly short of Your perfect standard. Lord, I confess that sometimes I don’t even want to obey You. I acknowledge that my sin causes the fruit of shame and that fruit silences my praise to You. Forgive me.
Oh friend, if you feel convicted by these questions and this portion of scripture, confess and repent. Then, make sure you read the next installment of Praying the Scripture with Selah. Here we will explore our reason to give Thanksgiving!